Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for Nathaniel Phillips after the defender put in a man of the match display in the victory over West Ham.
In the absence of Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Joel Matip, the 23-year-old came into the back-line for his Premier League debut and delivered an imperious display as the champions came back from behind to seal a late win.
Phillips won the most aerial duels of any player on the pitch and his manager was absolutely thrilled with his performance, describing as a ‘monster’ for his ability in the air.
“He’s a brilliant guy, smart guy, intelligent, everything,’ Klopp told the BBC after the game.
“He’s not easy on the eye, he’s not Messi but who cares? In the air, he’s a monster! He was incredible. “For the first game, I think everyone can imagine how nervy that must be after a long wait.
“It’s a crazy story, three years ago he was on his way to America to go to college.
“Twelve “Championship teams wanted him and to me it was clear he was going, and I was fine with that – and it didn’t work out for whatever reason, and it’s great!
“Tonight he was spot on, helped the team incredibly.”
Diogo Jota came off the bench to score for a third game in succession and kill off a stubborn Hammers side with an 85th-minute winner at Anfield.